How Design Can Communicate the Owner's Vision When Rebranding the Guest Experience
By Jim Suggs Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL | June 15, 2014
The ongoing recovery from the "Great Recession" has not produced the flood of hotel property sales and associated major renovation projects in the United States that some in the hotel industry had anticipated based on past experiences. However, rebranding activity has remained fairly constant: just as renovating guest rooms is part of an ongoing cycle, so is rebranding. But as owners know, rebranding poses greater challenges than guest room renovations, and there is far more at stake in assuring the best possible outcome.
The most successful projects hinge on a process in which the architecture team comes to the table without the baggage of a "signature style"... listens to and understands the owner's vision of the brand and intended guest... and develops a design that communicates the brand.
Here is a look at this process and key areas where a rebranded design can make a big impact on the guest experience: the journey to the guest room, social space and technology.
Open Dialogue Informs Design
A successful rebranded design depends on the architecture team's ability to develop a deep understanding of the owner's vision of the brand and intended guest. While this may be obvious to the owner, it is not always an outcome of the design process.
Certainly, the architecture team must read the owner's brand information and market research, and do independent research on the major concept driving the brand. Even more important, the team must listen-really listen-to the owner's vision of the brand and their patrons. And they must leave the firm's "signature style" on the baggage rack where it belongs. After all, every successful rebrand design is unique: it represents a particular moment in time, place, brand, and guest.